10-28-2021  2:43 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

With New Affordable Housing Development, Organization for African Refugees Forced to Relocate

African Youth & Community Organization’s proposal for Montavilla headquarters rejected

Report Faults WA Sheriff Over Confrontation With Black Man

An investigation has found a sheriff in Washington state violated policies against bias-free policing and other standards during a controversial encounter with a Black newspaper carrier.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Gets COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and encouraged other eligible Oregonians to discuss booster shots with doctors.

King County's Proof of COVID Vaccine Policy Starts Monday

Beginning Monday proof of vaccination or a negative test for COVID-19 will be required to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters or entertainment venues in Washington state's most populous county.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition (PIRC) Re-Launches Emergency Assistance Hotline

Community members can call the hotline if they or a family member has been detained by immigration authorities or if they witness a...

WA BLM Demands Sheriff Troyer be Suspended, Added to ‘Brady List’ of Bad Cops

Charges were filed against Troyer last week for false reporting and making a false statement in January when he said newspaper...

First Residents Move in at North Seattle Health Through Housing Hotel

Repurposed hotel to house approximately 100 people experiencing chronic homelessness ...

Black Future Co-op Fund Seeks Black Washingtonians to Shape the State’s Future Through New Survey

The survey is intended to reach Black Washingtonians across income, language, age, gender, religion, and sexuality and solicit input...

De La Salle Opens New NE Campus

Five years in the making, the new De La Salle North Catholic High School campus is located at 4300 NE Killingsworth St. ...

Washington: 89% of public school employees get COVID vaccine

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state education department says nearly nine out of 10 public school employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Washington state. The vaccination rate announced by officials Thursday, 89%, is slightly lower than that of other state...

Senators urge emergency protections for wolves in US West

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A group of Democratic lawmakers on Thursday urged the Biden administration to enact emergency protections for gray wolves in the U.S. West in response to Republican-backed state laws that make it easier to kill the predators. Twenty-one U.S. senators led...

Vanderbilt's next chance to end SEC skid comes vs Missouri

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The last Southeastern Conference team Vanderbilt beat is coming to Nashville Saturday and the Commodores are looking to end their 17-game skid against league opponents. Not that Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea is looking at the Missouri Tigers just an...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

OPINION

Letter to the Editor: About the UN Climate Change Conference

Global leaders have failed to take the action necessary to avert climate disaster and Oregon leadership is scant better. ...

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Jury hears opening statements in 'Unite the Right" trial

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Jurors heard opening statements Thursday in a civil lawsuit that accuses white nationalists of conspiring to commit violence at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Karen Dunn, a lead attorney for nine people who are suing...

County botches Spanish-language ballot instructions

Some Spanish-speaking voters in a Pennsylvania city where Hispanics account for nearly 70% of the population are at risk of being disenfranchised in next week’s general election because of an error in Spanish-language instructions that accompanied 17,000 mail-in ballots, activists and elected...

Schools debate: Gifted and talented, or racist and elitist?

NEW YORK (AP) — Communities across the United States are reconsidering their approach to gifted and talented programs in schools as vocal parents blame such elite programs for worsening racial segregation and inequities in the country’s education system. A plan announced by...

ENTERTAINMENT

William Jackson Harper's 'Love Life' drives show's season 2

NEW YORK (AP) — His new project may be as the lead in HBO Max's “ Love Life,” but William Jackson Harper will be the first to tell you he doesn't usually seek out relationship stories. “Rom-coms are not the thing that I gravitate to,” said the actor. “I like a lot of...

Review: Plush are the future of rock on debut album

“Plush," Plush (Pavement Entertainment) I no longer fear for the future of rock 'n' roll: It is in the capable hands of the four young ladies of Plush, perhaps the heaviest all-female rock group ever to put pick to string, and whose debut album could be the best album of...

Gordon Ramsay's social media project culminates in cookbook

NEW YORK (AP) — How did Gordon Ramsay spend his pandemic lockdown? Getting frenetic in a kitchen, of course. The chef with a dizzying number of books, restaurants and TV shows was home in Cornwall, England, with mouths to feed last year when he did a series of lives on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Summer days at the beach, in Israel and Gaza

Though the beaches in Tel Aviv and Gaza City look out on the same cresting waves of the Mediterranean Sea, they...

How it happened: Inside movie set where Baldwin's gun fired

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Light from a high afternoon sun slanted through the tall windows of the weathered wooden...

US to pay M to families, victims of SC church massacre

WASHINGTON (AP) — Families of nine victims killed in a racist attack at a Black South Carolina church have...

Bulgarian restaurant workers protest new COVID-19 pass rule

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of restaurant owners, chefs, waiters and bartenders took to the streets...

France fines British boats as fishing dispute escalates

LONDON (AP) — Britain said Thursday it would summon the French ambassador for a dressing-down, the latest move...

Vatican cancels live TV broadcast of Biden greeting pope

ROME (AP) — The Vatican on Thursday abruptly canceled the planned live broadcast of U.S. President Joe Biden...

Emily Jane Fox CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums jumped again this year, but the rate at which they rose slowed to historic lows, according to a new survey Tuesday.

For insured workers, the cost of buying health insurance for a family of four increased 4% to $15,745 in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

Last year, premiums leaped 9% from the year before.

"These are strikingly low numbers to those of us who have been studying health costs for a long time," said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "A 4% increase in health premiums is good news."

Altman said there are several factors that could have led to the slowdown, including the economy's slow recovery. When people have less money to spend and wages are flat -- as they have been in recent years -- they avoid getting medical care. Compounding the issue is the rise of high-deductible plans and other forms of cost sharing, like co-pays, that cause families to pick up a larger percentage of the bill.

"Health care use and the economy have always been closely tied, and my sense is that the recession and slow recovery are responsible for much of the recent health spending and premium trends," Altman said.

While premiums appear to be improving, health care costs still weighed heavily on families. The report showed that premiums for family coverage outpaced both workers' wages and general inflation. In less than a decade, premiums have increased 97%, roughly three times as fast as wages and inflation.

"It still takes a growing bite out of middle-class workers' wages, which have been flat or falling in real terms," Altman said.

This burden was even harder to shoulder for lower-income families. At companies where at least 35% of workers earn $24,000 or less, employees paid an average of $1,000 more each year than workers at companies where at least 35% of employees earn $55,000 or more, the report found.

And it's not just premiums. Lower-wage employees were also more likely to pay high deductibles. The survey found that 44% of workers at companies with many low-wage employees face an annual deductible of $1,000 or more, compared with 29% of those at companies with many high-wage workers.

"This year's survey suggests that working families at the low end of the wage scale face significant out of pocket costs for coverage," said study lead author Gary Claxton in a statement. "Firms with many lower-wage workers ask employees to pay more out of pocket ... even though the coverage itself tends to be less comprehensive."

Altman said he doesn't expect a return to double-digit increases in premiums anytime soon, especially as provisions from the Affordable Care Act kick in.

Even though much of the health reform law won't go into effect until 2014, the report estimated that the number of young adults covered by employer plans increased to 2.9 million this year from 2.3 million in 2011, as a result of the provision that lets young adults stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.

The 14th annual Kaiser survey was conducted between January and May 2012, and polled 3,326 small and large employers with three or more workers.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events